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ing sameness. This is far removed from theatrical gesture; it rather approaches the colloquial style. Nothing could be more incongruous than for a public speaker, in either of the foregoing situations, to introduce the parade and magnificence of theatrical gesture. The charge which is sometimes made against public speakers, of being theatrical in their gesture, probably arises more from some unsuitableness in their manner to the matter, than from anything of uncommon majesty, boldness, or grace in their action.
When the public speaker aims at persuasion, as in discourses from the pulpit for public charities, or on extraordinary occasions in Congress, or at the bar, when the advocate desires to influence the opinions of a jury, he will naturally use more graceful, more flowing, and more varied gesture. But he should not fall into the action of the theatre. He may be graceful, but he should be simple; he may be energetic, but he should not affect gestures too strongly significant, much less attempt surprise by attitudes. All his gestures should be regulated by manly decorum, suitable to his situation, to the character of his hearers, and to the just expression of his sentiments.
THE most important of the significant gestures are the following:
THE HEAD AND FACE.
The hanging down of the head denotes shame, or grief. The holding of it up, pride or courage.
To nod forwards implies assent.
To toss the head back, dissent.
The inclination of the head implies diffidence or languor.
The head is averted, in dislike or horror.
It leans forward, in attention.
The eyes are raised, in prayer.
They burn, in anger.
They are downcast or averted, in shame or grief.
They are cast in various directions, in doubt and anxiety.
The placing of the hand on the head, indicates pain or distress.
On the eyes, shame or sorrow.
On the lips, an injunction of silence.
On the breast, an appeal to conscience.
The hand is waved, or flourished, in joy or contempt. Both hands are held supine, or they are applied, or clasped, in prayer.
Both are held prone, in blessing.
They are clasped, or wrung, in affliction.
They are held forward, and received, in friendship.
The body, held erect, indicates steadiness and courage. Thrown back, pride.
Stooping forward, condescension or compassion.
Prostration, the utmost humility or abasement.
THE LOWER LIMBS.
The firm position of the lower limbs signifies courage, or obstinacy.
Bended knees indicate timidity, or weakness.
The lower limbs advance, in desire or courage.
They retire, in aversion or fear.
Start, in terror.
Stamp, in authority or anger.
Kneel, in submission and prayer.
These are a few of the simple gestures which may be considered significant.
SYNOPTICAL ARRANGEMENT OF THE NOTATION LETTERS.
Letters written above the Line, relating to the Fingers, the Hands, and the Arms.
FIRST SMALL LETTER,
Noting the disposition of the Fingers.
Noting the manner of presenting the Palm.
SECOND SMALL LETTER, AND TWO CAPITALS,
THIRD SMALL LETTER,
Noting the Posture of the Arms in the Transverse Direction.
FOURTH AND FIFTH SMALL LETTER,
Noting the Force of Motion of the Hands and Arms.
Noting the Direction of Motion.
Noting the Manner of Motion.
P, projecting, or pushing.
Noting the Posture of the Head, and Direction of the Eyes
R1, right foot, 1st position.
Letters written below the Line, relating to the Feet.
Noting the Positions of the Feet.
mx, moderately extended.
SMALL LETTERS AND ONE CAPITAL,
Noting the degree of Extension of the Feet.
RF, right front position.
xx, extended extreme.
Letters noting Steps.
sp, stamp. sk, shock
Letters relating to Parts on which the Hand may be
C, chin. br, breast.